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  • Writer's pictureYana Bachynsky

How to agree on which movie to watch with your spouse

Tell me if this scenario has ever played out in your home: you and your spouse scroll and scroll through Netflix and can’t decide what to watch. You both get increasingly frustrated as time goes by. “No, not that one! I hate black and white movies!” or “Ugh! Another romcom? With JayLo? Agaaaain??”

You then switch to Amazon Prime to try your luck. One of you is searching, the other is checking Rotten Tomatoes.

“This one!” she says.

“Nope, it’s only 48% on the Tomatometer,” he replies.

“But,” she says, “the audience score is 73%!”

“Nope, the general audience has no taste, critics is where it’s at.”

Fifty minutes go by, you’re both irritated at each other and now you’re getting sleepy, too. You give up. The following night isn’t much better.

If this happens to you often enough, this blog is for you. I’d like to propose a system that will not only make movie picking easier, but you’ll also be able to put your marital vows into practice.

My husband calls it the “my pick, your pick system.” Here’s how it works: one day, your spouse picks a movie, the next time, it’s their pick. It’s that simple.

Now here’s the catch: no complaining about each other’s pick—not even an eyeroll! Sometimes, you’ll like the movie they’ll pick, sometimes you won’t. If you don’t, just grin and bear it, because after all, when it’s your turn, your partner will return the favor!

Yes, this will require some patience and suffering—but there’s a name for this: it’s called sacrificial love. Love, in the true sense of the word, is altruistic—putting the other first. As you watch the movie, try not to think about how much you can’t stand it; rather, delight in how happy your partner is as they are watching their flick pick.

It won’t always be terrible. Sometimes you’ll like their pick and you may be surprised. You might come to appreciate a film genre you didn’t think you liked before. Who knew foreign films could be so good? Or old classic movies. Perhaps you’ll come to appreciate an actor you hadn’t seen much of.

Of course there are—and should be—limits to this system. For instance, suppose one of you loves horror films, but the other just can’t handle them and it makes their stomach turn? Or suppose your partner’s comedy is too vulgar and you find that type of humor tasteless? Therefore, before you begin the “my pick, you pick system,” you should establish some broad parameters within which you’d find categories that would not be utterly objectionable. Beyond that, you might also establish a veto system—perhaps once a year each of you can have the power to nix the other’s choice.

The beauty of this system is that it keeps things predictable and organized. No more fighting: now it’s just taking turns and enjoying the fact that every movie you watch together won’t be preceded by a struggle, and it gives you a chance to show your partner true love even if it’s a pick you wouldn’t have made.

My husband and I are avid movie watchers, and we’ve been using this system for years. We’re happy with it, and I hope it works for you, too.


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